Drawing Conversations

One of the best ways to learn is to ask questions.  Because drawing is an examination of a subject, as I draw there is a continual dialog going on in my head.  Sometimes I talk to myself, and sometimes I ask my subject.

pitcher photo

I’m going to do a line drawing of this pretty pitcher that’s been in our family for several generations.  Our conversation might go something like this:

The artist  “Hello pretty pitcher, how do I draw your curves?

The pitcher:    See how wide I flare out near the base and how gracefully I curve in near the top – just like a nineteenth century ball gown.   Compare the width of my widest point – it’s nearly twice the size of the narrowest point.

The artist:   Hmm, the top edge looks complicated.

The pitcher:    Yes, but that’s what makes me so beautiful.  See how I dip and curve at the same time.  Look carefully so you don’t miss one arc or turn.  Relate one curve to another as you go around the top.

The artist:  Where should I add the handle?

The pitcher:   Look how the handle comes out of the narrow neck and curves up so that one could draw a straight line from the top of the handle to the high point of the spout.  It curves back gracefully to attach just above the widest point of the base.

Get the idea?

I started drawing very lightly with an HB pencil.  First indicating the position on the paper, then drawing the outline of the vase.  When the basic shape was down, I switched to a fine Faber Castell pen.  Drawing in pencil first helped me make the vase symmetrical, plus it enabled me to make  sweeping curves which accentuates the lovely form.  Short choppy lines would not have been as effective.  All the while I’m drawing, my eye is on the vase, barely on the paper.   Always, always, always, look to the subject both visually and mentally to inform your drawing.

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